Sherlock seemed superficially disappointing in the Woodlands Derby on on Friday and Mark concedes that was his original thoughts but he has reason to come up with a kinder assessment since.

“Until the Prelude he has generally been a sit and sprint horse.He worked hard in the leadup race and did well. But this was his first over a staying trip (2700) and he worked quite hard in the early stages. He has already won a Sires Stakes heat so after a checkup at Matamata on the way he will go home now and prepare for the Sires Stakes Final. I am thinking he can  be excused that run on balance.Sinbad will run in the Sires Stakes heat at Cambridge”

Mark had mixed thoughts on Sinbad’s run after the race too.

“I thought I was doing the right thing handy to Merlin and ready to get a run at them but in retrospect I would have liked to have put some pressure on them earlier than I did. Not saying he would have won but he would have been closer”

No surprise Akuta got a big pass mark for his late surge in  the Free for All but Self Assured locking wheels at a vital time blunted a finish that might have been surprisingly sharp.

“Tony said he was getting a good feel when he came out but he locked wheels and had a wee gallop and that was that . He thought he was going to be in it. He missed a race so it was quite encouraging from The Race point of view. Nice to know he has bounced back so well”

Millwood Nike was a class above giving herself and the stable nice “elevenses” (Her 11th win and All Stars 11th Pascoe Oaks)and continues to be the perfect patient in the barn her relaxed approach being a key part of her racing confidence. With Style however  had mixed fortunes.

“He had to work early but then got a reasonable run. But he hung on the way home which meant I was hanging on to one rein.He pulled up fine though”

Racing wise this is a quiet week in Auckland and trials busy at Rolleston but most focus at Addington will be on Oscar Bonavena who romped home last Friday given Nathan’s team a double for the night.

“Nathan gave him a good jog around this morning (Sunday) and felt he had come through that race fine. It is a bigger challenge this week but good to know he is coming through his races like that. Fingers crossed”

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